At the important juncture of the 70th anniversary of World War II, it is quite understandable that a speech that states a government’s position is carefully and cautiously planned and drafted.
At a ceremony in Los Angeles – attended by 95-year-old veteran James Murphy – senior executive Hikaru Kimura told the audience: ‘In keeping with the spirit of our company’s mission statement, today we apologize remorsefully for the tragic events in our past, and expressed our profound determination to work toward a better future, ‘.
Emperor Hirohito (Showa), at a banquet for visiting South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan, says, “It is indeed regrettable that there was an unfortunate past between us for a period in this century and I believe that it should not be repeated again”.
Abe, viewed as a hawkish leader with intentions to revive nationalist sentiments in Japan, was reportedly under pressure within Japan as well to issue an apology for Japan’s actions.
First, Abe begins by emphasizing Western colonialism, not Japan’s.
At the moment, it is unclear if Abe’s words would appease China, South Korea or other neighboring countries, who suffered in the hands of Japan.
Toward the end of his speech, Abe noted the Japanese people’s resilience in the war’s aftermath and its efforts to combat nuclear proliferation. “What is done can not be undone”.
Abe also said that Japan’s modernization came from a sense of crisis of Western powers’ overwhelming supremacy in technology and waves of colonial rule toward Asia.
“Upon the innocent people did our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering”.
“Building from our deep remorse on this occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, Japan must eliminate self-righteous nationalism, promote global coordination as a responsible member of the worldwide community and, thereby, advance the principles of peace and democracy”. Adding that Abe has been pushing to make it legal to exercise Japan’s right to collective self-defense, Yang said, “Abe is turning his people into warmongers”.
Shokuminchi shihai. This means “colonial rule”. But as with most compromises, it’s unlikely to leave anyone truly satisified. But there is no apology or claiming of Japanese responsibility.
Abe also needs to satisfy ally Washington and his dovish junior coalition partner with remarks that do not inflame regional tension, and likely wants to keep up a thaw in ties with China, ahead of a possible visit to Beijing in September.
Now a tall, bone-thin 87-year-old with cataracts clouding his left eye, Mr Xiao recalls the officer’s verdict: “He said, “These are old books”. Seoul, which had already felt left out of historical gestures, will take note. But neighboring countries like China and South Korea would disagree. In that, they will not be satisfied. He expressed his own “feelings of profound grief” and “eternal, honest condolences” over the loss of life at home and overseas.
To a layperson, this sounds very much like an apology, and quite an emotional one at that. Shin said the dividends they took accounted for just 1 percent of Lotte’s annual operating profit a year ago.
Shii Kazuo, chief of Japan’s Communist Party, lambasted Abe for using the keywords of “aggression” and “apology” in a cunning way.
However, a recent report by an expert panel advising Abe on his statement described Japan’s wartime activities as aggression.
Mr Abe said Japan must squarely face history but future generations should not have to apologise.